The Ministry of Justice Reforms 2013 have now come into effect. These are a whole string of changes, but the changes covered by this white paper cover the area of civil claims for injury or ill health that occurs in the workplace.
Summary of key changes are:
There are new claim notification forms. These differ slightly for injury and ill health but are otherwise similar. They have effect for injuries sustained after 31st July 2013 or ill health that has not been notified by 31st July 2013.
You are required to respond immediately by e-mail as soon as you receive the form. This does not mean that you have to supply all the information immediately, but you must immediately acknowledge receipt of the form by e-mail. “Immediately” is not defined, but you should assume that a response within 24 hours is appropriate.
There are several unaddressed problems here; what happens if there is no e-mail address to which you should respond?, or what happens if the person to whom the form is sent is away for several days, as is quite likely? You could argue about delays in response in such cases, but you would be in a very exposed situation if you sat on the notification and did not respond within what could be argued is an “immediate” period.